Traveler - Make Waves!

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parks and rec


A monthly e-newsletter to encourage “I Can!” program participants and other families to continue learning about the outdoors.

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June 2019

Park Highlight:  McCarthy Beach State Park


McCarthy Beach State Park sign


As summer approaches, thoughts of picnics and swimming come to mind.  At McCarthy Beach State Park in northeast Minnesota, you will discover a sandy beach on Sturgeon Lake that was rated one of the top 17 beaches in North America by Highway’s Magazine.  Walk along the half-mile of shoreline, or venture out into the shallow water that extends hundreds of feet into the lake.  Hikers, mountain bikers, and snowshoers enjoy scenic trails that wind along pine-covered ridges and through stands of birch. Snowmobilers and horseback riders take advantage of the Taconite State Trail to access miles of trails outside the park. 

boy playing at beach

The List: Beach Destinations


Many Minnesota state parks maintain sandy swimming beaches.  Explore those listed below or check out the Summer Activities Guide to find more beaches and other outdoor ideas to try this season.

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Find more ways to experience our lakes and rivers!

Game Time: Outdoors in Every Language


Encourage your family to love the outdoors by exploring a variety of activities and finding ones that you enjoy together!  

Below is an outdoor action word to share with young children to build literacy skills and to experience the joy of connecting with nature.

This month's outdoor action word is "wash."  Visit a nearby beach and look for rocks, sticks and other natural objects you can wash in the water.  Do they change color when they get wet?  How does the water feel on your skin when you wash your hands or feet?  Is it cold or warm? 

wash in many languages


An excerpt from “Let’s Play Outside! 50 Ways to Connect Kids with Nature,” a project of the 2014 Collaborative Leadership Fellows Program, Rochester, MN.


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Traveler Tip:  Give the Gift of Nature!


Looking for the perfect Father's Day gift?  Need to find something meaningful to give to that recent graduate?  Minnesota State Parks gift cards can be purchased online or at your favorite state park and allow cardholders to purchase camping, vehicle permits, tours, Nature Store gifts and rent outdoor equipment such as kayaks and snowshoes.  When used at state park Nature Stores, proceeds fund natural resource management and outdoor education projects in Minnesota state parks.

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Find more gift ideas that support conservation.

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Minnesota Conservation Volunteer Highlight:  Return of the River Otter


The playful, intelligent river otter was once commonly found throughout Minnesota. However, in the late 1800s over-trapping led to the mammal’s disappearance in the southwestern part of the state. Otters weren’t seen again in the region until nearly a century later, when they returned thanks in large part to the efforts of one man. Read the amazing comeback story in the latest issue of the Volunteer.

For more stories about Minnesota’s wild places and creatures, subscribe to Minnesota Conservation Volunteer—an award-winning nature magazine printed by the Minnesota DNR since 1940. CLICK HERE to order the magazine online. 

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Search the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer digital archive to find more stories.

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Meet the Field Staff


Get to know some of the field staff who take care of your Minnesota State Parks and Trails!

Meet Carolyn Rock, an  Interpretive Naturalist II at Gooseberry Falls State Park since August 2015.  Carolyn enjoys the variety of tasks and spending time with park visitors. She also loves creating the only Minnesota state parks app – Gooseberry Falls Go! This allows visitors to connect with the park in a new and different way. 

Carolyn loves hiking to where the Gooseberry River meets the Skunk Creek. The site is quiet and allows her to reconnect with the beauty around her.  She enjoys hiking and horseback riding.  One of Carolyn's favorite animals is the Red Squirrel.

Carolyn is a rock hound with a large collection of rocks from all over the world. She loves rocks from the tiny sand grains to giant boulders. They all tell a story about the world.

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Interested in working for DNR? Check out DNR internship postings!

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National Get Outdoors Day - MN State Parks Open House Day


Minnesota's 75 state parks and recreation areas are offering free admission on June 8, 2019, and many of them have planned special activities to introduce you to the fun of geocaching, kayaking, camping, and other family-friendly activities!

This year, DNR Commissioner, Sarah Strommen, issued a statewide challenge to all school-aged kids and their families.  The School's Out Camp Out Challenge encourages families to start summer break off right by spending the first weekend out of school under the stars with friends and family.  Help us fill every campsite on June 8th!

There will be many free events taking place for National Get Outdoors Day including:

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Find more activities at Minnesota state parks and trails.

Find past issues of the Traveler.